About

This is a music criticism blog, with a particular focus on the 21st Century avant-garde and its roots in earlier avant musics. I plan to update this site as I conduct my own exploration of this music, both revisiting old favorites and important milestones, and discovering new (to me) pathways through the history of the avant-garde. I’ll be posting reviews and thoughts about electroacoustic music, modern composition, free improvisation, noise, and jazz. Other genres and miscellany may pop up from time to time, as well.

I formerly wrote about film at my now-defunct blog Only the Cinema. I also collaborated with fellow film blogger Jason Bellamy on a series of conversations about film at The House Next Door.

It’s been some time since I’ve written regularly about music. I hope that this site will encourage my re-engagement with this practice, because nothing focuses the mind, or the ears, like writing. Writing about something opens the way to ideas and associations that would otherwise be far more remote, if not outright inaccessible.

This blog’s title comes from one of the “aphorisms” in the liner notes to AMM’s debut album AMMMusic:

Playing in AMM sometimes produces a state where you feel sounds in a completely different way from usual. Seeing as if for the first time this reddy brown object with all the strings going away from the left, a bow going across the strings on the right hand side and interwoven amongst the strings various little things, on top of that a plastic lid, and just watch the sound happening.

That spirit of discovery, of hearing or seeing things as though for the first time, is an approach that I both greatly value in music and other arts, and that I hope to bring to bear as much as possible on my own writing here.

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